High-end German optics manufacturer, Zeiss, has clarified that it has not left the photo industry, despite several recent photo media reports making the claim based off a Fred Miranda forum post.
The Phoblographer‘s founder and editor, Chris Gampat, published an article that ‘reports confirm’ Zeiss is done with manufacturing stills photography products. Gampat, who has an in-depth knowledge of Zeiss’ operations and product line, spotted a Fred Miranda forum thread making the claim.
An anonymous user’s forum post is not a solid source to serve as the basis ‘confirmation’, although Gampat drew his conclusion by combining the claim with Zeiss’ lack of stills lens product developments over the last few years. For example Zeiss hasn’t developed any products for the new mirrorless lens mounts, with its product line up still strongly geared toward Canon and Nikon DSLRs.
The story was then picked up by several other photo media outlets, prompting Zeiss to respond:
‘Zeiss has not withdrawn from the photo lens market.
A simple look at https://www.zeiss.com/consumer-products/int/photography.html or amazon.com shows that we are still promoting and selling our photo lenses.
But we have to face the facts. In the first months of the pandemic, the global market declined significantly and irreversibly. And companies have to adapt.
And, of course, we are bringing our unique expertise to mobile imaging. Because it is also clear that consumers, as well as ambitious and professional photographers, increasingly prefer their smartphones for all-day photography.‘
As previously stated, Zeiss hasn’t released a new stills lens in years, and makes no indication that new products are in the pipeline. However, the company told Dpreview: ‘We are committed to the [stills] category and enabling consumers worldwide to take breathtaking pictures and videos with our products.’
Zeiss US ambassador, Greg Watermann, who recently had his ambassador status with the company renewed, also received confirmation from his employer that it’s not left the photo industry. They ‘assured me of years of continued inventory, spare parts, repair and tech support, and customer service’.
Zeiss continues to release new cine lenses, with the company holding a long-term partnership with professional cine camera maker, Arri.